Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 463–468 | Cite as

Generation of expressed sequence tags from a cDNA library of Coleus forskohlii for identification of genes involved in terpene biosynthesis

  • Y. Fang
  • J. Huang
  • X. Huang
  • S. H. Chen
  • P. C. Zou
  • W. S. Li
  • K. Yu
  • Y. W. Liu
Original Papers


Coleus forskohlii (syn. Plectranthus barbatus) is a widely used medicinal plant and its main bioactive constituents are diterpenes forskolin and isoforskolin. The present study aimed to construct a cDNA library to identify expressed sequence tags related to terpene biosynthesis in C. forskohlii. We constructed a high quality normalized full-length cDNA library which reached the requirements (abundance, integrity, and library content) for isolating full-length genes. A total of 4 224 cDNA clones were sequenced and 2 394 unigenes were assembled with an average unigene size of 753 bp. A total of 2 100 (87.7 %) unigenes were functionally classified using gene ontologies, and 1 716 (71.7 %) unigenes were assigned to establish pathway associations in KEGG mapings. Notably, 64 unigenes putatively participated in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, in which 17 unigenes were identified that might be involved in the biosynthesis of the terpenoid backbone and monoterpenes, diterpenes, and triterpenes.

Additional key words

forskolin isoforskolin terpene backbone 



diterpene synthase


expressed sequence tag


geranylgeranyl diphosphate


gene ontology


Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes




mevalonic acid


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Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of PharmacyHubei University of Chinese MedicineWuhanP.R. China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Medicine Resource and ChemistryHubei University of Chinese MedicineWuhanP.R. China
  3. 3.Postdoctoral Research CenterFuren Pharmaceutical Co.TongchengP.R. China

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